Every now and again us city folk here at the Local’s like to trade in our markets and art galleries for a little taste of something greener. And when the offering is as good as La Fosse, our new favourite B&B in Dorset, we actually found ourselves running to get out of town.
La Fosse is the project of Mark Hartstone and Emmanuelle who met and worked in hotels around the globe. The food (Mark’s side of things) have obviously shaped the place with each of the B&B’s six rooms named after a local cheese. We were in Gold Hill, which I can now say is a great cheese AND a great night’s sleep! The room are simple, but are excellent value with heavenly beds and full-sized cowshed products in the bathrooms. Rooms also came stocked with teas and cafetieres as well as a selection of DVDs and books down the hall meaning that if you wanted to you could happily spend your whole weekend in your room… not that we’re recommending that!
In fact here are 4 reasons to get out and explore La Fosse and the surrounding area:
Reason 1: The town of Cranbourne is adorable. Just a few steps out the door and several locals had called out hello. This just doesn’t happen in London and made us fall in love with both the town and it’s people immediately.
Reason 2: Cranbourne is located in Dorset but is on the cusp of both Wiltshire and Hampshire, so if you have a car with you you’re well positioned to explore both the coast, the New Forest, or the neighbouring town of Salisbury with its famous cathedral. We personally took the train, but did not feel like we missed out at all, as Cranbourne and La Fosse are situated among a number of beautiful walking trails to keep you outdoors and entertained.
Bringing us to reason 3 to get out and explore. There are hiking routes for all abilities throughout the area. We decided to do a 12 mile hike, that took us past a manor house, to a brilliant look out point and through Martin Down National Reserve where Hares and Pheasants roam freely.
Again, making us feel miles away from London.
Speak to Mark or Emmanuelle before heading out, and they’ll set you up with a map and some tips (and if you get a little lost like we did, they’ll even come out to rescue you – although we don’t recommend this).
Reason 4: Mark’s food!
He’ll start your day out with fresh juice & coffee, homemade breads and jams, fresh fruit and a selection of cheeses (of course). You also have a choice of a number of warm breakfasts, from a full english breakfast, the BEST eggs benedict I’ve ever had, to an amazing vegan breakfast. The food is definitely the best part about La Fosse, and we found ourselves counting down the hours till the next meal, just to see what Mark would whip up next.
After working up an appetite getting lost, we returned for dinner.
With one vegan on our team he was at it again coming up with not just one vegan option but a menu of vegan options for the evening. It was one of the most inventive vegan menus we had seen in a very long time, and a refreshing change from the standard risotto most places opt for. It goes without saying that quality of ingredients is at the core of what he does, with all ingredients local. 4 courses in, the only problem was saving enough room for Mark’s award winning cheese board.
Speaking to Mark after dinner, he explained that he loves a challenge when it comes to creating interesting dining experiences. This is one of the reasons La Fosse hosts regular supper clubs (an insanely reasonable £26 for three courses) based around a country’s dishes (Scandinavian, Spanish, Italian).
Overall we had an amazing time – and are already planning a second visit.
For more information on how to get there, upcoming super clubs and rates, check out their website here: http://la-fosse.com/